By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
James White and Lawrence Guy barely missed some incentives in their contracts last season. So the Patriots are doing a solid for the running back and defensive tackle, building those incentives into a pair of restructured contracts.
Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network first reported that Guy gets a $400,000 raise in 2019 after missing what ESPN’s Mike Reiss termed a playing-time incentive. It’s the second straight year the Patriots have granted incentives to Guy after the season.
Pelissero also reported a $250,000 signing bonus for White, whose 53.6 percent of snaps and 1,176 total yards didn’t quite meet his incentive. The pay-bumps add another $375,000 to the Patriots’ salary cap over each of the next two seasons.
More restructures on the way?
This begs the question of what the Patriots end up doing with the contracts for other key pieces. Tom Brady is entering the final year of his deal and the Patriots have never let that actually be the case at the start of the season. Despite a down year statistically for Brady at 41 years old, he’s shown no signs of intending to do anything other than play until he’s 45. So an extension by at least one more season would make sense for him and for the Patriots’ cap situation.
Other cap questions pertain to Rob Gronkowski ($11.8 million cap hit), Devin McCourty ($13.4 million), and Dont’a Hightower ($10.9 million). Gronkowski is reportedly still mulling retirement. No reports have suggested that any of them have been approached about a restructure or reduced salary. But according to NESN’s Doug Kyed, Hightower wouldn’t accept a pay cut.
A pay-raise, however, should be headed Julian Edelman’s way after a Super Bowl MVP season in 2018. He’s due just a $2 million salary, plus a possible $1.875 million in bonuses and incentives – which still makes him the highest-paid receiver on the team. But the Patriots are under no financial obligation to do anything with his contract. If Edelman himself doesn’t ask for it, there’s a chance his number stays the same.
But considering their willingness to let White and Guy have their incentives, perhaps they take care of their top receiver as well.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at email@example.com.